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A plea for empathy

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.

COVID-19 teaches empathy. We need not go far to place oneself in another’s position. We or someone we know has experienced fear, isolation, illness, job loss, family disruptions, death and more. We can put ourselves within someone’s frame of reference and be sensitive to how they feel.

I thought it a good time to plea for empathy for those of us who live in the framework of defending the lives of the unborn. I plea for you to step into our world. Move past the fringes of the radical and place yourself in the position of the majority. Our position is based on the embryological science that at the moment of fertilization there exists a new human being – a little girl or boy and, for many of us, the very handiwork of God. Search within yourself for a capacity to understand how we feel.

Think how you feel when you see those COVID numbers every day; the climbing death toll reaching numbers greater than American lives lost in World War II. We grieve at those numbers as do you. Try to feel what we feel as we are confronted every day with a death toll that each year exceeds the number of American lives lost in all the wars we have fought. And they are all children.

I write this on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade – that was the beginning of this pandemic in which more than 62 million American children have lost their lives since 1973. The death toll rises 2,465 each day. No vaccine exists to give us hope that it will be over. Our hope lies in changing hearts and minds, to lift the shroud of “good” that masks this great evil.

But that is not the intent of this writing. I simply ask for empathy. I ask you to see beyond the stereotype of pro-life folks being crazy, religious fanatics. We are folks just like you. And for almost a year you know what it is like to cringe each day at the rising death toll of fellow human beings. We do too, except we have been doing it for more than 48 years.

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